Thursday Tantrum....

.....seems like a good title for this post, although I've been having tantrums pretty much all week.
Ya know how sometimes people just seem to know just what buttons to push, and then they go out of their way to push them?
Especially little people?
Here is my tantrum for today:

I am FED UP with adults giving my children candy!

What is it about adults, who are in charge of my children, doling out candy all the time? Teachers, pastors, coaches, Bible school leaders, etc. They've all given candy to my kids.

I'm not talking about on holidays. I can grit my teeth and deal with the candy overload on Halloween & Valentine's Day.

But I know I'm not the only parent out there who tries to limit their kids' candy intake. We all know that candy is full of sugar, just empty calories. It causes cavities, and certain candies can ruin expensive dental work. We have a serious problem with childhood obesity in this country, and giving candy - or any junk food - frequently as a reward is sending a bad message.

So it puts me in the position of either letting it go and throwing up my hands, or taking away this "reward" my kids were given for doing a good job, behaving well, or some other good deed.

On Tuesday my son came home with a pack of Starbursts. Yes, a package, not just a couple. They were given to him by his soccer coach, whom I adore, by the way. My friend picked him up from soccer for me, so I wasn't there to say "No thanks!" to the coach. Instead, I had to be the meanie who took the Starbursts away. Andrew has had a ton of dental work at his young age; he didn't get any dental care until he was about 5 or 6. He has fillings, crowns, spacers, I don't even know what all he has in his mouth, and Starbursts could snatch all of that stuff right out. Now, Andrew knows he is not allowed to have that type of candy, but of course, he conveniently "forgot". That's another tantrum for another time.

Earlier that night, after Elayna's volleyball game, they were passing out Little Debbie Snack Cakes. One of the little girls on the team quietly asked me, "Do they have eggs in them?" We checked the package and sure enough, they contained egg whites. This little girl is a vegan, so she didn't get a treat.

I really think, if we're creative, we can come up with some good alternatives to candy. How about sugar free gum? Fruit? Stickers, tattoos, Silly Bandz?
I know that candy is cheap and easy to come by, but let's do better for our kids. They deserve it!

What do you think? Does this drive you crazy too, or am I just a Mean Mama?


Brandy@YDK said...

for your kids - you should have them bring their "reward" candy home and trade it for something you have in a goodie bag - silly bandz or whatever. That way they get a reward and you are happy.

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

They don't do candy for rewards around here very much. It's usually stickers or pencils. (Perhaps you should forward them this comment!)

♥ Kathy said...

1st let me tell you that I was the mom who wouldn't let my kids have tons of candy. The candy they gathered on Halloween would last three months. And there were three kids to eat it. Seriously. And I would tell everyone who offered it to my kids NO, they can't have that, sorry. Now let me tell you that I'm the grandma that keeps a candy jar and pulls it out whenever the grandkids ask for it. I make sure they eat their good food first but there's always a treat available. When & how this change came about I have no idea. Am I horrible now? I don't know...maybe a Snickers will help me decide lol just playing :)

diane rene said...

I go back and forth with it. I try not to keep too much candy around the house, so when they get a single gummy worm at school or a jolly rancher from their favorite teacher, I'm okay with it. as the coach, hubby tries to get parents to bring healthy-ish food (granola bars, fruit, etc) for after game snacks. of course, we get the birthday snacks, and the halloween snacks full of sugar and crap, but again, I try to keep it to a minimum at home so that they can enjoy it otherwise.

falyse, at 6, knows that there are some candies that are absolute NOs, because she has dental work like Andrew. starbursts, skittles, caramel, laffy taffy - uh uh, no way! and she will either nicely refuse it, or take one to use as a bargaining chip with her sisters.

in our house, candy is reserved for weekends. we do have baked goodies slightly more often (brownies, unfrosted cupcakes, etc), but it is usually seasonal and I still try to keep it to once a week. more often than not, my kids will ask for an apple over candy, gatorade or water over soda and juice, and cucumbers, carrots and celery are eaten almost everyday.

I'm sure they still get quite a bit of sugar, but the fact that they choose healthier options makes me feel good about the way I've done things.

my mom didn't allow us any sugar as kids, and my brother took to hoarding. I don't want that result either.

diane rene said...

an afterthought - I love the trading candy for reward option - great idea!

Myya said...

I don't really have to deal with this with my kids so it isn't an issue yet. I am sure it will be at some point though. I think there are defnitely better ways to reward kids, candy is yummy & fun & I don't have issue with it but moderation is a must! Good for you for doing what you need to for your family!

King J's Queen said...

I don't like this either. My hubby and I coach our daughter's soccer team and we ask that healthy snacks and drinks be provided.

We had one parent last year provide each player on the team with three (THREE!!!) Little Debbie snack cakes, a bottle of Gatorade and a pouch drink. Why in the world would any child (or adult) need that kind of snack after a 1 hour soccer game?

Just Lisa said...

I hate that, too! It seems like my daughter comes home with a bag of candy once a week! Either it's someone's birthday, or a random holiday, or sometimes it's even just because!

Luckily, my daughter does not care that much for candy, but that just means it's around for me to eat, and I don't need that temptation!

Kat said...

It doesn't happen that often to me but when it does it bothers me.
The teachers at my kids' school give out fun pencils, little notepads, cute erasers and stuff like that. The kids LOVE it. And MUCH better than candy! :)

shortmama said...

I really havent run into this so far with candy as a reward, but I know in our house that we never give food as a reward. We do things like reward with a later bed time or getting to buy a new movie or something

B said...

I agree with you 100% ! It kills me when it is the teachers. I thought they were supposed to be encouraging healthy snacks at school yet they get more candy at school than anywhere else! I was trying to talk my fellow class mom into scaling down the halloween party since they were going to be loading up on junk all weekend but I was overrun by her and the teacher. I coudn't believe the amount of crap in one classroom for one party!

On a more positive note though, I applauded the dance teacher for realizing the parents might not be so hot on the candy she was handing out and she switched to silly bandz this year.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I appreciate this post. Our families little ones all live out of state so I send them each $5. for different holidays (Halloween, Valentines & Easter) but I do have some local children who belong to my bowling buddies who I give candy to but only for a few special holidays. I like your thought on giving out other items rather then candy.